November 27, 2014
Thanksgiving Day came about as a holiday and a time to be thankful for many things in our own lives. This day is also a day of Mourning for the Native American tribes.
Set aside all the reasons you can’t feast on a Thanksgiving meal every day and focus on the reasons you can and should. Why? The reconciliations of the modern day Americans and the Native American tribes are important.
A feast such as this should happen every day, not just on Thanksgiving Day. Why, you say again? How hard is it to welcome people into your home and feed them? Forget all the real reasons not to invite strangers into your homes, but on this day, it’s a feast to be shared with all and each other. Just as we Americans are afraid of strangers, so were the Native Americans on that day they now call ‘The Day of Mourning.’
The Wampanoag tribe began the Thanksgiving tradition; they welcomed visitors to this land and kept them from starving. The Native Americans tribes not only feasted on just one day, but four to seven times a year as it was their custom to do. Sadly, it did not end well for the Wampanoag Tribe, and from that day forward, it became known as The Day of Mourning. For their kindness, they were paid back with cruelty. The Europeans desecrated their graves and gave them plagues, and took over the land they had thought of as their own since descending upon America’s soil. Native Americans do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the white man’s world, but they do feast on big meals during this day to honor that day of Wampanoag Tribe’s contributions. Children have misconceptions about what this day means and they need to be taught about the first day of Thanksgiving and The Day of Mourning.
As a child growing up, you remembered the big meals your Grandmother made every day and your Mother did the same, just as you did for your children. Sadly, we only hold big dinners and contact each other on Thanksgiving and feast our hearts out. We also remember the loved ones we have lost in our lives, too.
On this day you miss your Mother cooking food fresh from the garden and you remember her dearly. And you’re missing your father as well. He made sure people had food to eat and a place to stay. One of his favorite sayings I loved the most: ‘As long as you have food to eat and a roof over your head, you’re doing well.’ I think of that on Thanksgiving Day.
Invite your neighbors to join in with you, as well as the homeless people near where ever you live. We should just start this Thanksgiving again with honor and hospitality to merge with our long lost families and with those who share a different history from ourselves.
Where ever you are, have a great meal or a small bite to eat on this day. Be thankful for the foods you eat, the friends you have, and the neighbors near you. Mourn your lost loved ones and know they are not forgotten.
Just as the Wampanoag tribe held a feast to keep the European settlers of long ago from starvation, we should do the same on this day of Thanksgiving and remember The Day of Mourning, of those we’ve lost.
A kind word, a soft greeting, and a sincere smile go a long way for many of us on this day.
Charity truly begins at home.
Love to all,
To read more letters, click on The Path!
Pingback: The Protectors — Mary – 12/9/2016 | One Year of Letters